put your money where your mouth is

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So Dave – You hit on the real point system that we all tally daily $$$ ! What DO we spend our money on? And how does the way in which we spend our dollar really affect our environment (far more than any of my showering habits ever could?)

Maybe we all have been a bit too cerebral when examining the environmental challenge this month. Yes, I do believe that making personal changes in our daily lives and habits can make a huge positive impact on our immediate environment – but how are we going to get the majority of people to follow suit, when even I, as a middle class single person, have a hard time keeping up with all the right choices.  Let’s get real for a moment… what is the one thing that the large majority of people pay the most attention to when faced with making a purchasing or personal life decision?

I think it often comes down to two things:

1. Is this something that I really want or care about?

And of course

2. Can I afford it?

I believe that this is the reality that most people, (including myself) consider first. We look into our wallets, before examining our personal belief systems about how we might be impacting positively or negatively on the environment when using our dollar. I am not judging anyone for doing this – I do it myself and understand fully why I choose to be frugal first.

I do wish however that this could be different. Are there ways of getting around financial constraints when making our purchasing decisions? Are there ways of making the enviro-friendly choice, not only more appealing and desirable to the general public, but also more affordable and accessible?  These are challenges we will all need to face when trying to advocate or adopt major societal shifts in approaching better environmental practices. Or they simply will not work.

Yes! Doing the small things that you can do does help! Keep doing it! But can we think bigger and figure out a way that more of us can also participate in this effort? Wouldn’t it be great if we could collectively get past the overlying question of “Can we afford it?” and instead start examining the questions of “How can we make healthy and positive choices affordable?” and “How will these choices better my life as an individual?”

How we get there I am not sure. But it is possible.

Sorry Dave, am I getting too cerebral again? I digress. In Dave’s wildcard challenge – he specifically asks me to think about how I am spending my dollar. The task is to really think about what I am purchasing and its impact on the environment positive or negative. Well believe me – I am thinking about it! It’s like a labyrinth that I’ve wandered into and I am afraid of never finding my way out. However, instead of getting lost in the constant confusion of the Cap and Trade point system, adding and subtracting everything I purchase as well as every mile I drive. I will simply make a focused effort to record and reflect upon what I am purchasing. Am I capable of putting my money where my mouth is?

If you have ideas or examples of food, products or services that you feel are both good for the environment and affordable please do share them with me! I will need all the help I can get with this task!

8/20/13

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